Shegerian & Associates: Weight Watchers Discrimination

Carney R. Shegerian, founder of Shegerian & Associates, a Santa Monica-based law firm specializing in employee rights, has issued a statement aimed at all employees and employers in light of a recent high profile case concerning a Michigan based Weight Watchers location settling with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over allegations of pregnancy discrimination.

According to the EEOC’s suit, Weight Watchers violated federal law when it refused to hire an applicant as a group leader because she was pregnant. The applicant was a lifetime member of Weight Watchers who had successfully met and maintained her weight goals before becoming pregnant. When Weight Watchers learned of the applicant’s pregnancy, it told her that it did not hire pregnant women and refused to consider her any further, the EEOC said. The agency also claimed that Weight Watchers discriminated against the applicant based on pregnancy-related weight when Weight Watchers disqualified her by using its “goal weight” requirement.

“This case serves as an important reminder that discriminating against women because they are pregnant violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA), which prohibits employers from discriminating against applicants and employees due to their pregnancies,” said Shegerian. “We applaud the EEOC for its diligence in bringing such cases to the attention of the general public.”

An experienced trial attorney and Trial Lawyer of the Year Award winner for 2013, Shegerian has tried many jury trials to verdict in both state and federal court, representing individuals that have suffered financial or emotional losses and have been wronged by employers, including major corporations. Shegerian has built a remarkable career on helping those who have been wronged in the workplace. His remarkable success rate is highlighted by over 68 jury trial wins, including 28 seven and eight figure verdicts representing employees.